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Press Release 12-206

Drought in 2001-2002 Fueled Rocky Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak

Reduced precipitation in the southern Rockies turned outbreak into epidemic

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Photo of pine tree forest and mountain peaks.

Stands of lodgepole pines attacked by mountain pine beetles suffer varying damage.

Credit: Michael Wente, University of Colorado Boulder


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Photo of forest on the western slope of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Mountain pine beetle outbreak on the Western Slope of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Credit: Michael Wente, University of Colorado Boulder


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Photo of dead mature lodgepole pines as a result of the beetle epidemic.

Entire stands of mature lodgepole pines have died as a result of the beetle epidemic.

Credit: Michael Wente, University of Colorado Boulder


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Photo of scientist Teresa Chapman in the forest affected by the beetle outbreak.

Scientist Teresa Chapman ground-truths databases for studying the beetle outbreak.

Credit: Michael Wente, University of Colorado Boulder


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